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Season review: Turkey

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 9.03CET
It was as you were as Galatasaray AŞ retained the title and Fenerbahçe SK lifted the Turkish Cup again in a season when both teams savoured memorable European campaigns.
by Türker Tozar
from Istanbul
Season review: Turkey
Burak Yılmaz enjoyed another fruitful season at Galatasaray ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 9.03CET

Season review: Turkey

It was as you were as Galatasaray AŞ retained the title and Fenerbahçe SK lifted the Turkish Cup again in a season when both teams savoured memorable European campaigns.

Galatasaray AŞ clinched their 19th Turkish crown after a hard-fought tussle with arch-rivals Fenerbahçe SK, who found consolation in the Turkish Cup. Both teams caught the eye in Europe, with marquee signings Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder involved in Cimbom's run to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. The Yellow Canaries went a stage further before they succumbed to SL Benfica in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

Champions: Galatasaray AŞ
Under the guidance of coach Fatih Terim, Galatasaray won their second straight championship to become the most successful team in Turkish Süper Lig history. Having risen to the top of the pile after three matches, Terim's team refused to relinquish their stronghold, losing just four times en route to finishing ten points above Fenerbahçe. It is their 19th top-flight title, one-more than their cross-city rivals, whose own tally of 19 runners-up finishes is also unequalled.

Cup final: Fenerbahçe SK 1-0 Trabzonspor AŞ
The contest was nine minutes old when Moussa Sow rounded off a counterattack with a simple finish directed past goalkeeper Tolga Zengin after collecting Mehmet Topal's pass. Trabzonspor, who finished ninth in the league with 14 defeats, could not find an equaliser as Aykut Kocaman became the first coach to guide the Istanbul outfit to back-to-back cup successes.

European places*
Galatasaray AŞ – UEFA Champions League group stage
Fenerbahçe SK – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
Beşiktaş JK – UEFA Europa League play-offs
Bursaspor – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
Trabzonspor AŞ – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

*subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the Year: Burak Yılmaz (Galatasaray AŞ)
There is no official player of the year award in Turkey but if there was, the irrepressible forward would have a strong case. Topping the scoring charts for a second term running, Burak replicated his domestic prowess in the UEFA Champions League, notching eight goals in Galatasaray's run to the quarter-finals. Combining speed of thought, movement and fearsome finishing, the 27-year-old is operating at the peak of his powers and formed a lucrative partnership with ex-Chelsea FC front man Drogba. 

©AFP/Getty Images

One to watch: Salih Uçan (Fenerbahçe SK)
Plucked from second-tier Bucaspor, the 19-year-old made a seamless transition to top-flight football when handed his opportunity. With a sound understanding of the game and a studious eye for a pass, Salih has all the tools to flourish over the next decade. He came to the fore most prominently against Orduspor, scoring twice, while UEFA Europa League ties with S.S. Lazio and FC Viktoria Plzeň elicited mature displays from the teenager. 

Surprise package: Akhisar Belediyespor
Despite spending the majority of the season entrenched in the bottom three, Hamza Hamzaoğlu's team remarkably wriggled free of the relegation noose. The arrival of Fanis Gekas produced an upturn in fortunes, with the Greece striker finding the net 12 times in 15 outings to establish himself as a firm fan favourite. 

Leading scorer: Burak Yılmaz, Galatasaray AŞ (24)

Relegated: Mersin İdman Yurdu, Orduspor, İstanbul BB SK

Promoted: Kayseri Erciyesspor, Çaykur Rizespor AŞ, Torku Konyaspor

Number: 33
A penchant for scoring late on resulted in 33 goals in the 89th minute.

Quote
"If Lionel Messi was in my squad, he would have to fight hard to displace Olcay Şahan."
Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba reserves high praise for winger Olcay

Last updated: 11/06/13 16.43CET

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